In a democratic set up the conduct of elections is a robust exercise and strenuous efforts are made to ensure that votes are cast independently in favour of the candidate of the voters choice. The country has also made a provision to vote for NOTA, should a voter find that none of the contesting candidates is of his/her choice. In the world’s largest democracy having more than 900 million voters. It is a huge task involving massive men and material investment. Hefty amounts of money are spend both by the parties participating in the elections as also by the contesting candidates. Naturally it would be expected that electorate participates in this exercise wholeheartedly and in large numbers. Our country has earned the recognition of a vibrant democracy and the world watches with keen interest the stability and strength of our democratic set up with a multi party system. The elections are free and fair with universal franchise. The conduct of elections since independence in a fair manner and putting in place the democratic governments to run the affairs of the country should be a great tribute to Indian democracy as also to the people of the country who have significantly contributed to the deepening of the roots of Indian democracy. However, it is very unfortunate that the leaders of the political parties as also the contesting candidates do not uphold the levels of decency and parliamentary decorum while campaigning during these elections. The current election has probably fallen to the lowest ebb where no regard is shown to the sanctity of parliamentary norms nor even to the personal respect of the opposition candidates. The worst still is, absolute disregard to the national concerns. Many a time the competing party leaders and contestants cross all the limits to question the very foundations of the Indian democracy and the constitutional provisions which have sustained it so far.
A detailed review of, all, that has transpired during this election so far, will be a voluminous exercise but a summary update should be indicative of the unpleasant utterances made by the leaders of different hues. At the first instance one should take note of the language used by the head of a leading political party calling the Prime Minister of the country as “chor”- a thief- Prime Minister, as head of the government is the face of the country and needs to be addressed in a most respected manner and any indecent violation of that standard does not reflect on the Prime Minister but on the person who speaks that language. It also casts shadows on the quality of human stock of the country. Indians are most respected people all across the world and such irresponsible utterances would certainly cause great embarrassment to our people working abroad. One of the leaders crossing all the limits of decency used an abusive language against a contesting lady. In a country where we respect women so highly, how shameful it is to use such awkward comments . How can a politician of long standing slander and denigrate a woman contestant.
Some of the leaders even threatened secession from the Indian union if things do not go their way. The most agonized section of the society should be our armed forces who have been shown scant respect during these campaigning programmes. Reportedly even help has been sought from the enemy countries to win the elections by hook or by crook. Complaints of EVM’s have proved frivolous.
The Pulwama tragedy has remained under focused attention in the electoral campaigning uptill now.Judging by any standards, it has tended to be politicized which should not have happened. That retaliatory actions have been taken is the responsibility of the government in office and it cannot be used as a capital investment in winning the elections and nor should the government claim that earlier regimes have remained insensitive to the country’s security concerns. One should appreciate the current government for bold actions but one should gracefully also recognise the work done by earlier governments. May be these efforts were inadequate but their intentions should not be doubted. The elections in a democratic country should not become a mud slinging exercise, instead it should be a thoughtful exercise of projecting the developmental perspectives that competing parties have in their mind. An election in a vast country like India should exhibit a vision and an action programme to realize that vision in a reasonable period of time. Unfortunately, not much has been talked about that vision which the country needs to formulate to ensure the stability of its economy, polity and society. The world is moving fast; we have to keep pace with that change to stay in the prospect of emerging not only as a vibrant democracy but also as a fast growing economy to meet the internal and external expectations.
India has a long and cherished history. It is one of the oldest or perhaps the oldest civilizations of the world. It has witnessed the periods of exalted growth and achievements and it has the potential of assuming the role of a global leader in raising the entire humanity to highest levels of peace, prosperity and glory. The elections need to be fought on that agenda particularly when the Indian Voter now enjoys, greater awareness of exercising his choice on his assessment and not on vague campaigning by the competing candidates seeking vote on caste, creed or religion. That there is a wave, is an old concept and in case, there is any wave, it is in favour of casting the vote and passing the judgement on the merits of the competing candidates. Let the country’s politicians notice the winds of change and adjust to it or make room for the new leadership who will steer the country through its rising expectations both, in the national and global arena. People, in the country, will vote only as Indians and divisive politics is nearing its end. The emerging generation of voters will vote for excellence putting country suppermost in their mind.
Societies are in constant evolution and that shapes the history of its changing phases. Let these phases of history not be ignored so that we are caught napping in this fast changing new global order where objectivity is on premium and excellence is the goal. Election manifestoes should highlight the action programmes of comprehensive development and social welfare programmes capable of enabling the future generations to realize their expectations and live a respectable life. Let us spare the mental agony to our people of watching a qualitatively low level of campaigning. The country men are wise enough to understand the good things done and vote consciously. There may be a few islands of ignorance which politicians may seek to exploit but the vast majority of the countrymen constitute a conscious vote bank for the right persons and the right parties. Let the Nation win.